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Sunburn for 9.6.17 – Florida on edge, evacuations coming as Hurricane Irma nears

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Sunburn – The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics.

By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Mitch Perry and Jim Rosica.

Hurricane Irma’s size and strength put the entire state of Florida on notice Tuesday, and residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods that could reach the state by this weekend.

Throughout South Florida, officials readied evacuation orders and people raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage and put up plywood to protect their homes and businesses.

The storm had the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean and posed an immediate threat to the small islands of the northern Leewards, including Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Here is the 5 a.m. update from the National Weather Service – Irma is about 35 miles east-southeast of St. martin, about 145 miles east of St. Croix. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the  forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands this morning, move near or over portions of the northern Virgin Islands later today, and pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight.

Hurricane Irma’s damage could be most ever, topping Katrina, Barclays predicts” via Thomas Franck of CNBC – “Given the potential magnitude of this storm as well as the potential to impact a highly populated area, we think Irma’s insured damage in Florida could be the largest ever in the U.S. perhaps equivalent to Hurricane Katrina,” wrote Barclays’ Jay Gelb … “In a worst case scenario, catastrophe modelers AIR Worldwide and Karen Clark and Co. have estimated a repeat of the 1926 Miami hurricane could result in $125-130 billion of insured damage.” Hurricane Katrina’s insured damage was $50 billion adjusted for inflation.

A satellite image released by NOAA shows Hurricane Irma as it moves westward across the Atlantic Ocean.

Science says: Sorting the ‘spaghetti’ of hurricane scenarios” via Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press – A look at how those predictions are made … Who to trust … The place to start is the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast, say several meteorologists who are not part of the federal government. “You can’t beat the hurricane center forecast,” said Miami television meteorologist Max Mayfield, who was the director of the hurricane center from 2000 to 2007. The hurricane center sees computer models other people don’t, judges individual models and uses a consensus of the better performing models, he said. The center also shows how well they do over time — and they are doing better. The trouble, say those experts, is that those same images of models are spreading over social media and they are getting misread … Forecasters track the beginnings of storms, whether they come out of unstable weather that pops up in the Gulf of Mexico, or chug off Africa in classic Atlantic storm mode like Irma. The models usually agree about where the storm will go for the next 12 to 24 hours and the spread out with time. The top performing model is usually the European model, which is slightly ahead in long-term accuracy over the American one, [MIT meteorology professor Kerry] Emanuel said. But that doesn’t mean the European will be better every time, he said. “Good forecasters look at the whole suite” of models, Emanuel said. And sometimes one model is just nailing a certain storm so you stay with the hot model. Forecasters also run so-called ensembles with as many as 51 tweaks to the data and formulas. They are lower resolution and quality but provide more information and possibilities for forecasters. “The best guide for risk is to look at the cone” of projected landfall, often called the “cone of uncertainty,” said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the private forecasting service Weather Underground. If you are in the cone, you should be concerned and prepared, he said. Even if you aren’t in the cone but nearby, you need to pay attention.

Gov. Scott, state readying for Irma to go East Coast, West Coast or up the middle via Scott Powers of Florida Politics – The state of Florida, military, federal agencies and emergency response organizations are in gear, and South Florida counties are preparing for evacuations and closings starting Wednesday, but Scott made clear Tuesday the challenge of preparing for massive Hurricane Irma remains the uncertainty. “We’ll see what the storm does. If you look and play the odds, it sure looks like the storm will hit the East Coast, it could hit the West Coast, or come right up the middle of the state,” Scott said during a press conference Tuesday evening at the state’s emergency operations center in Tallahassee.

Gov. Scott hears about the latest preparations for Hurricane Irma from Florida emergency management director Bryan Koon, right, and other officials during a 5 p.m. briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

Scott summed up activities: He waved tolls on roll roads. He waived weight limits on trucks. He called out the first units of the National Guard and has 7,000 personnel on orders to report Friday. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from Lake Okeechobee to prepare it for more. School closures are being declared throughout South Florida counties, with some starting tomorrow. Shelters are being coordinated. Evacuations begin Wednesday in Monroe County, the Florida Keys, and for special needs people in Miami-Dade. But the question does not appear to be whether Irma will hot Florida, but where? That, Scott said, will guide future decisions in the coming days. “So we’ll be doing more evacuations,” he assured.

“There’s a lot of projected paths. I think everybody has got to assume the you’re going to be impacted,” he said. “This is a big, this is a big, this is a big storm.”

On Tuesday Scott described taking a number of briefings, from Florida National Guard leaders, military leaders, county sheriffs, city police, schools superintendents, the Red Cross, federal authorities, and others. With them all, he said, the message he received was there were no unmet needs. Yet.

“Everybody believes we’re in good shape, but you don’t know what is going to happen,” Scott said.

Assignment editors: Gov. Scott will visit Monroe and Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Centers to give updates on Hurricane Irma and the storm’s potential impact on Florida. Monroe County Emergency Management, 490 E 63rd Street Ocean #150, Marathon. 9:15 a.m.

Donald Trump approved Florida request for Irma emergency declaration” via Kristen Clark of the Miami Herald Trump has approved Florida’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration for Hurricane Irma, Scott announced. “This will free up much-needed federal funding and assistance as we prepare for Irma,” Scott said during a 6:15 p.m. briefing with reporters at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.

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Reassuring words from Bill Nelson: “I’ve talked to Brock Long, the head of FEMA, he’s ready and is prepositioning people and supplies around the state. I’m talked to the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Zukunft, and he is already prepositioning ships and aircraft to come in right after the storm hits. I’ve talked to Col. Kirk with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he’s ready and says Lake Okeechobee still has the capacity to hold another three feet of water before this hurricane would threaten the dike. I spoke to General Calhoun with the Florida National Guard. They are ready and prepositioned. And I’ve talked to the secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, and asked her to urge the state to go ahead and lift the tolls on South Florida’s roadways, particularly I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, to make it easier for folks who are starting to evacuate.”

Nelson asks FTC to go after gas gougers – Nelson sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission head Maureen Ohlhausen asking for the FTC to keep on the lookout for spikes in gas prices ahead of Hurricane Irma’s landfall on Florida shores. “…past experience in Florida and elsewhere has shown that some unscrupulous operators will seek to magnify these natural price increases to take advantage of consumers – including those that may be trying to prepare for or evacuate from an impending hurricane,” he wrote. The storm is expected to hit Florida sometime Friday, but experts are not yet sure which parts of the state will be affected.

Retailers rush to restock supplies following Harvey, preparation for Irma” via TaMaryn Waters of the Tallahassee Democrat – By midmorning Tuesday around Florida, shortages spiked and word quickly spread on social media as residents leapfrogged from store to store in search of emergency preparation supplies. Retailers, especially big-box stores like Target, Walmart and Costco, were hard hit, seeing shelves cleared of water, toilet paper and generators. “The retailers are well aware of the shortages,” said James Miller, a spokesman for the Florida Retail Federation, “and they have a plan in place to stock the shelves as fast as they can.” Miller said many stores have been forced to split resources between Harvey’s wrath in Texas and the impending danger from Irma. The retail federation has been in planning mode since last week to be ready to help with Florida’s recovery. Publix Spokesman Dwaine Stevens said the Florida-based grocer created a customer-driven donation program to help Harvey victims but it was canceled Tuesday because of Irma.

Florida Keys evacuations readied ahead of storm via The Associated Press  Officials in the Florida Keys are gearing up to get tourists and residents out of the possible path of Hurricane Irma. Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark says in a news release that a mandatory evacuation for tourists will begin at sunrise Wednesday. An evacuation plan for residents is also under way but a timetable hasn’t been determined. Clark says government offices, parks and schools will close and there will be no shelters in Monroe County. The county’s three hospitals are also beginning evacuation plans. U.S. 1 is only route in and out of the island chain off the southern peninsula of Florida. Clark says residents and tourists should begin filling their tanks with fuel to prepare to drive to the mainland.

As Miami Beach braces for Irma, mayor urges residents to evacuate” via Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald –“I’m personally recommending to our residents that you consider leaving the city of Miami Beach in advance of the evacuation order that we anticipate will be coming from the county mayor,” said Beach Mayor Philip Levine in a news conference. Hours after Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said residents on the barrier islands and along coastal mainland communities should start preparing to leave, Levine asked Beach residents who have a place to go to begin evacuating now. He also told residents who don’t have a plan to make one quickly. Meanwhile, the city is bracing for widespread flooding as the hurricane continues to move in Florida’s direction. Though it won’t be until later this week that the storm’s path becomes clearer, Beach officials are already shoring up the city’s drainage system for heavy rains that are expected to fall whether Irma hits the city directly or the storm’s bands swirl over the island.

>>>For real-time traffic information and evacuation routes, visit

Adam Putnam suspends rules on moving livestock during Irma” via the News Service of FloridaPutnam announced the suspension of rules on moving livestock and pets within the state. “By suspending the intrastate movement requirements for the transportation of animals, we can ensure that Floridians and visitors can quickly and safely move their pets and livestock out of harm’s way,” Putnam said in a prepared statement. Also, Putnam said Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi have waived requirements related to moving livestock and pets from Florida.

Expedia to help Floridians, first responders find accommodations for Irma – As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, many regions will soon begin issuing evacuation notices. Online travel booking website Expedia is offering both visitors and residents a way to find safe shelter from the storm. First responders traveling to impacted areas can also use the site to find available lodging in areas that could be impacted by Irma.

— “Electric utilities preparing for storm’s arrival” via Patricia Borns of

– “How to survive Hurricane Irma like a true South Florida native: buy booze” via Doreen Christensen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

– “Irma batters Tampa Bay insurance stocks” via Margie Manning of the Tampa Bay Business Journal

– “Lenny Curry: Jacksonville has ‘adequate reserves’ for Matthew-level impact from Irma” via AG Gancarski of Florida Politics

Irma prompts UCF to move Memphis football game to Friday” via Chris Hays and Iliana Limón Romero of the Orlando Sentinel – Spectrum Stadium … will open at 5 p.m. for the American Athletic Conference game, but there will be no tailgating allowed … UCF said, “First responders throughout Central Florida will be preparing for this Category 5 storm and UCF will not have the law enforcement resources needed to staff tailgating areas.” The game was scheduled to be played Saturday at 8 p.m., but Tuesday morning the new models for the Category 5 hurricane suggested it could have a significant impact on the entire state of Florida. The Central Florida region could feel the storm impact early Sunday and Monday, potentially close to the end of the game. Fans could be leaving the stadium amid the start of tropical storm winds and the Tigers’ travel back to Memphis could be hindered.

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Frank Brogan a contender for job at Donald Trump Education Department” via Alyson Klein at Education WeekFrank Brogan is a top contender for a position at the U.S. Department of Education … His background would seem like a good fit for assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education, a position that’s being filled temporarily by Jason Botel. Brogan, who recently stepped down as the chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, may be best known for serving as former Florida Gov. Bush‘s lieutenant governor, a post he held from 1999 to 2003. But Brogan has held just about every possible job in K-12 education policy and instruction. He’s been a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools in Florida’s Martin County. Brogan’s nomination to a federal Education Department post isn’t a done deal …  But he’s said to be among a group of potential education appointees being vetted by the White House.

“‘Dreamers’ decision creates dilemma for Republicans” via Dara Kam of the News Service of Florida –The Trump administration announcement poses a dilemma for Republican politicians in the Sunshine State, which is home to at least 30,000 people who could be affected and is the base for exponentially more Hispanic voters who could be critical to next year’s elections. Gov. Scott, a close ally of Trump who is widely expected to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson next year, issued a statement indicating his support for “dreamers” that stopped short of condemning the president. Scott said Obama was “wrong to address the dreamers issue by executive order.” But, the governor added, “I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents.” Republicans running for governor were split on the issue, with state Sen. Jack Latvala, who has a long history of supporting “dreamers,” decrying Trump’s policy decision in anticipation of the president’s announcement. “We must lead with a compassionate heart, not by punishing children. Major parts of the business community — a powerful interest group for Republican candidates — support DACA, while Trump’s base voters back the president’s tougher immigration approach, said Florida Atlantic University political science professor Kevin Wagner. “That’s a difficult chasm for Republicans statewide to navigate, to draw those Republican portions of the electorate together,” Wagner said.

Richard Corcoran applauds Donald trump for repealing protection for dreamers” via Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald – … calling the provision that protected the children of unauthorized immigrants an “amnesty plan for illegal immigrants” … “President Trump made the right decision,″ Corcoran said in a statement. “The rule of law is the rule of law and no one should be above it. Anything less would have been a tacit acceptance of President Obama’s backdoor amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. And while Congress has shown little ability to get anything done (think repeal and replace of Obamacare), I just hope they don’t turn the opportunity the president has given them to deal with this illegal immigration problem into their own backdoor amnesty plan.” Corcoran acknowledged the decision was difficult but targeted unnamed “apologists” for the inaction. “This illegal immigration mess we are in today is because of apologists consistently opposing every sensible idea to secure the border and constantly demanding we reward illegal behavior with citizenship,″ he said. “The American people are left with no choice but to enforce the law to its fullest extent.”

“Ron DeSantis: It would be a ‘mistake’ to take on DACA” via Sandy Fitzgerald of Newsmax – It would be a mistake for congressional Republicans to take up the “dreamers” issue, as they first need to do what the American public elected them to do, DeSantis said. “We ran on a certain set of priorities for the American people,” DeSantis, a member of the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “The president ran on it. If you look so far, the cupboard has really been bare.” So far, promises to repeal and replace Obamacare, tackle spending and debt, tackle welfare reform, and reforming taxes have not happened, DeSantis said, nor has Trump‘s promise to “drain the swamp” … “I think moving on to something controversial a lot of Republicans didn’t run on, you know I think that would be a mistake,” said the congressman. “I think we have to do what the American people sent us here to do. That has to be the first order of business.”

Spotted in the Washington Post: John Konkus, described as “a longtime Republican operative from Florida who served as Trump’s Leon County campaign chairman and previously worked for the state’s lieutenant governor (Jennifer Carroll),” in a Tuesday story on how he’s now “in charge of vetting the hundreds of millions of dollars in grants the EPA distributes annually.”


“Don’t take down FSU statue, Sandy D’Alemberte says” via Florida Politics – As Florida State University begins its look at its historical “campus names and markers, including statues,” former university president D’Alemberte isn’t convinced that the contentious statue of school founder Francis Eppes needs to come down. “I’ve heard from several people who criticize Eppes and I think some of what they’re saying is right, but that doesn’t lead me to the conclusion that we need to take down the statue,” D’Alemberte told Florida Politics on Tuesday. The statue of Eppes, a Leon County slave owner who lived 1801-81, was commissioned by D’Alemberte in the 1990s as part of “an overall campus improvement project,” a university website explains … FSU President John Thrasher on Tuesday announced the “creation of a panel … to examine and make recommendations on current university policies concerning campus names and markers, including statues and other recognitions,” he said in a release.

“Sides seek more time in $700M Lottery lawsuit” via Florida Politics – The Florida Lottery and the House of Representatives are seeking an extension in which to settle a pending lawsuit over a $700 million contract for new equipment, court records show. Lottery outside counsel Barry Richard and House general counsel Adam Tanenbaum asked the 1st District Court of Appeal that they “be permitted to provide another status report to the court by Oct. 31.” Last Thursday was the previous deadline for a status report. “The parties continue to pursue good faith negotiations,” their 2-page filing says, obtained Tuesday after a public record request to the court. “Some of the issues involved necessitate additional time to work out a satisfactory resolution. In the meantime, the parties respectfully suggest that leaving the current stay in place will increase the likelihood of achieving that resolution.”

“Court overrules regulators regarding ‘flag drop’ races” via Florida Politics – An appellate court on Tuesday unanimously reversed state regulators in favor of a ragtag north Florida horse track looking to become a “first-class (gambling) facility.” The Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering last year rejected an administrative law judge’s tossing out of its complaint that Hamilton Downs ran “flag drop” races contrary to its license. But the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the track, which it nonetheless described as “an L-shaped dirt track … in an open field.” Regulators said the small track, located 90 miles east of Tallahassee, violated its license by running such races in June 2014. Essentially, the division said such races weren’t legitimate horse racing … The court said (the judge) got it right and the state was legally in the wrong when it dismissed his conclusions. It found that races in question “occurred on a licensed, approved course … in the presence of duly appointed racing officials,” and winners were paid.

Worst story you’ll read today – “Dad overdoes during ‘one last drug binge’ at Florida hotel” via The Associated Press – Police say a Florida woman invited the father of her 4-year-old daughter to join her for “one last drug binge” before she entered a rehab program. But 29-year-old Joseph Beavins overdosed sometime Sunday night and now 23-year-old Taylor Cheyenne Perry is facing a child neglect charge … Perry was already high on methamphetamine when they arrived with the child at the Sleep Inn Sunday. They brought a stash of drugs including meth, fentanyl and cocaine. When Perry and the child went to sleep, Beavins continued using drugs. The child found Beavins unresponsive early Monday. Perry and the girl left, but she called for an ambulance for Beavins. The Department of Children and Families took the child.

“Gov. Scott: State offices closed Friday” via Florida PoliticsScott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma, his office announced Tuesday night. Scott also asked state employees to volunteer in the state’s emergency shelter mobilization efforts … “Ensuring the safety of these hardworking individuals and their families is a top priority, and I am directing all state offices to be closed this Friday so our state employees can fully focus on preparing for this storm and keeping their families safe,” Scott said. “I am also asking these talented individuals to consider donating their time and effort to become a certified American Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer to help Floridians in need.”

“Constitutional review panel cancels meeting” via Florida Politics – The Rules & Administration committee of the Constitution Revision Commission has cancelled its planned meeting in Tallahassee for this Friday at 9 a.m. “The cancellation was announced due to current reports that Hurricane Irma may impact Florida,” a Tuesday night press release said. Committee members had been scheduled to  deal with procedural issues, such as how to handle submitted public proposals, and how proposed amendments to the state constitution can themselves be changed after they’re filed. The rescheduled meeting will be announced at a later date.

Irma could interrupt Legislature’s plans” via Kristen Clark of the Miami Herald – House Speaker Corcoran and Senate President Negron wrote to their members that “a final decision” about next week’s meetings will be made “as the path of the storm becomes more clearly defined.” Until that time, legislative leaders will move ahead as normal in noticing public committee hearings, they said. “With the specific timing and trajectory of Hurricane Irma still uncertain, later today we plan to proceed with publication of the interim calendar, including the notice of committee meetings scheduled for next week,” Negron wrote. “Hurricane Irma currently poses a serious threat to our state, and I encourage all Senators and staff to use the next few days to ensure your home and family are prepared.” “Please join me in continuing to pray for those who will be affected by Hurricane Irma in the coming days,” Corcoran wrote. The Legislature’s first committee hearings for 2018 are scheduled to begin Sept. 12.

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How House GOP leaders lobbied black Democrats on contentious charter schools bill” via Jessica Bakeman of POLITICO Florida – Speaker Corcoran and his deputies worked to whip votes from the chamber’s sizable black caucus for HB 7069 — an effort that was almost wholly unsuccessful — according to text messages sent by lawmakers and their staff members during the frenetic last days of the 2017 legislative session. The candid communications … revealed tensions between Democrats in the Legislature’s two chambers as they employed competing strategies for opposing the nearly 300-page all-or-nothing bill. In the House, the minority party believed it was best to play nice with Republican leaders so they could gain a seat at the negotiation table, where they might mitigate aspects of the bill they saw as most dangerous to traditional public schools. Their Senate counterparts disagreed, pushing for a more aggressive strategy to gut or stop the bill altogether. At one point, a House Democrat complained in a text to a colleague that a senator in his party “chastised” him for working with Republicans. Later, after the Legislature passed the bill, GOP leaders worked to counteract the public pressure on Scott to veto it … In the communications, a top Republican House member referred to an unnamed fellow education leader as “Mr. Slick” and suggested the state Board of Education needed an outline of the bill “for dummies.”

Greg Steube files surgical center bill without recovery care provision” via Legislative IQ powered by Lobby Tools Steube once again has filed legislation (SB 250) to allow patients to stay in an ambulatory surgical center up to 24 hours. Those facilities, which mostly provide elective surgeries, cannot currently keep patients overnight. The bill does not include language for the creation of “recovery care centers” that would have allowed post-surgical care for up to three days. That provision was in the House plan (HB 145) last session, but was amended out of the Senate proposal (SB 222) during the committee process.

House panel set to discuss U.S. Capitol statue” via the News Service of Florida – Amid proposals to replace a likeness of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith with a statue of civil-rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune, a state House committee is scheduled to discuss the process of replacing statues at the National Statuary Hall in Washington. The House Government Accountability Committee is slated to take up the issue during a meeting Sept. 12. State lawmakers in 2016 voted to replace the statue of Smith amid a nationwide backlash against Confederate symbols in the wake of the 2015 shooting deaths of nine African-American worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. But lawmakers during the 2017 legislative session did not agree on a replacement for Smith. Sen. Perry Thurston and Rep. Patrick Henry have proposed measures (SCR 184 and HCR 73) for the 2018 session that would replace Smith with Bethune, who founded what is now Bethune-Cookman University.


“Andrew Gillum reschedules Gainesville stop in ‘Back to School’ tour” via Florida Politics – Tallahassee Mayor Gillum, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, says he will reschedule a stop in Gainesville planned for Wednesday so he can remain in the capital for hurricane preparations. The University of Florida visit was one of several Gillum made at universities around the state. While in Gainesville, he also was going to speak with the Gainesville High School Young Democrats. On Friday, he is scheduled to stop in at the University of Tampa.

Gwen Graham says she’d sue Big Pharma over opioid costs” via George Bennett of the Palm Beach PostGraham says if she becomes Florida governor she’ll file a lawsuit against pharmaceutical makers to get them to offset the costs of dealing with the opioid crisis. “To me, we need to do with the opioid crisis what (former Gov.) Lawton Chiles did with the tobacco crisis. We need to be holding the pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in addicting so many people across the state to opioids,” Graham said during a visit to the Caron Renaissance addiction treatment center. In a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County while Chiles was governor, tobacco companies agreed in 1997 to an $11.3 billion settlement to help pay Florida’s costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. Graham blamed “excessive advertising” by pharmaceutical companies for an increase in opioid addiction.

Gwen Graham, center, talks with Dr. Barbara Krantz, the director of addiction medicine for Caron Renaissance, in Boca Raton.

Jimmy Patronis committee pulls in $135,000” via the News Service of Florida – A political committee linked to newly appointed state Chief Financial Officer Patronis raised $135,000 in late August, as Patronis weighs running in 2018 for a four-year term in the Cabinet post. The committee, known as Treasure Florida, formed in August and posted initial fundraising numbers on its website. The $135,000 included $50,000 from Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc., of Panama City and $50,000 from the Florida Prosperity Fund, a PAC with ties to the business group Associated Industries of Florida. Patronis has not opened a campaign account to run in 2018, but the Treasure Florida committee could play a key role if he decides to run.

Jeremy Ring adds $168K in August for CFO campaign” via Florida PoliticsShelby Rogers said the former state senator brought in $154,322 of the money through his campaign account and another $14,500 through his committee, “Florida Action Fund.” “Our August fundraising numbers are further proof that Jeremy Ring’s message of bringing a more innovation-driven economy to Florida to create high-paying jobs has resonated with Floridians from the Panhandle to the Keys, and we are excited to continue sharing Jeremy’s vision for a stronger Florida economy,” Rogers said. Ring finished July with about $130,000 between the two accounts; Rogers didn’t give any update on Ring’s on-hand totals. According to his committee website, FAF has about $5,200 on hand, while his campaign’s August report hasn’t been filed.

New committee started to back Mike Miller in CD 7” via Orlando Rising – Paperwork registering the political committee, “Central Florida Solutions,” was filed and lists Abby Dupree as both the treasurer and custodian of records. Dupree holds the same titles at Gov. Scott’s “Let’s Get to Work” as well as the committee backing a 2018 ballot initiative to give voters the final say in gambling expansion. Central Florida Solutions will be headed up by former Republican Party of Florida executive director and longtime GOP consultant David Johnson, though election laws will prevent the committee from directly coordinating with Miller’s campaign.

“David Richardson gets Connie Leon-Kreps’ backing in CD 27” via Florida PoliticsRichardson has picked up an endorsement for the primary from North Bay Village Mayor Leon-Kreps for Florida’s 27th Congressional District. Leon-Kreps, who has served as mayor since 2011, is known for her efforts for restoring integrity to local government following a series of scandals in North Bay Village politics. Richardson, a state representative from Miami Beach, faces Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, Michael Hepburn, and Mark Anthony Person, among others, in the Democratic free-for-all to try to replace retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Republican candidates include Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, Maria Piero, former Doral Vice Mayor Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, and Bruno Barreiro.

Pam Bondi endorses Yvonne Fry in HD 58 special election” via Mitch Perry of Florida Politics – “I have known Yvonne Fry for many years and I know that she is a committed Conservative who will defend our Conservative values,” Bondi said. “She will lead with experience and tenacity when she gets to Tallahassee, will stand up to special interests and always represent the will of the residents of District 58 … She is the only person who is qualified to be your next State Representative and I am excited to offer her my endorsement.” Fry is competing against businessman and Hillsborough County Farm Bureau board member Lawrence McClure in the Oct. 10 Republican primary election to succeed Dan Raulerson, who stepped down with more than a year left in his term last month, citing health reasons.

– “Rebekah Bydlak banks $60K for HD 1 campaign” via Florida Politics

Spotted – House District 93 hopeful Emma Collum, the national field director behind January’s historic Women’s March, in Rolling Stone’s “Meet the women inspired to run for Office After the 2016 election” … Almost immediately after the march, she began bringing women from Ruth’s List, a Florida-centric spin-off of EMILY’s List, to meetings of women who’d been energized by the protest in D.C. She knew running for office would be a next step for many of the millions of women who attended the marches nationwide – likely the biggest one-day protest in U.S. history.”


Cheryl Elias: addressing Florida’s opioid crisis must include helping the person with the addiction via Florida Politics According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, five out of the nine types of drugs that caused the most deaths in 2015 were ones that fall within the category of opioids. Two years later, we are seeing the effects of opioid addiction escalate and there does not seem to be a part of the state, rural or urban, that has not seen some impact. Understanding that addiction’s impacts reach far and wide, it becomes clear that to make any difference we need to address this issue in a comprehensive way. Thankfully, our leaders in government are quickly realizing opioid addiction’s impacts and catastrophic effects and are taking action. Just this year, Sen. Marco Rubio was an original cosponsor of the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act to help reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the country, and he is also working with U.S. Health and Human Services in bringing grant dollars into the state aimed at combatting opioid trafficking and abuse in Florida … Rubio understands how pressing this issue is for Floridians, and the actions he has taken this year are commendable. However, efforts to address this issue should not stop there. There is still a long road toward a Florida free of opioid abuse, and part of this strategy should include providing proper treatment to those who suffer from addiction.


“Personnel note: Top gambling regulator quits to open own firm” via Florida PoliticsAnthony Glover, director of the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering (DPMW), resigned his post Tuesday to start a boutique law firm specializing in “complex corporate and government affairs issues,” he told Florida Politics in an email. Glover Law “will advise businesses on the gamut of regulatory issues, including preparing permit and license applications, designing compliance plans, and defending against potential agency discipline,” he added. The firm “will also work closely with entrepreneurs and emerging companies” and follow “legislative and executive policymaking closely, available to provide lobbying services on a limited basis.” Glover said Susan Doherty, former chief of licensing at the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT), is expected to join the firm as a licensing consultant, with “more personnel announcements expected over the next several weeks.”

“Personnel note: NDN’s Alexandra Glorioso joining POLITICO” via Florida Politics – The Naples Daily News political writer starts in POLITICO Florida’s Tallahassee bureau in early October, state editor Joe Schatz said in a release. She’ll cover the regulated industries beat, including medical marijuana and gambling — “an increasingly important coverage area for us in Florida,” Schatz said. Glorioso spent the last year and a half at the Daily News. She also has worked at the Center for Responsive Politics, Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation and the Guardian’s Tehran bureau. She’s a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and did her undergraduate work at Arizona State University’s Barrett Honors College.

Happy birthday to a quarter of solid Floridians: former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, Abel Harding, The Fiorentino Group’s Joe Mobley, and state Rep.-to-be Bobby Olszeswki.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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